With Ancient Women

I find myself, these days, unexpectedly in conversations with ancient women I never met.

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I’m about to stand up and speak about Leah, the one Jacob didn’t want, and I stop and have a whispered conversation with her.

Not exactly to her or with her. But I hold her in my heart – hoping I will do her justice, this ancient grandmother of my Messiah.

I’m stitching thousands of words at the moment and they all belong to women. It’s a big project and it will take me a long, long time but it’s transforming me too.

Right now, it’s reminding me things like, the first person to name God is a slave woman. Isn’t that so beautiful? In the light of sexism and racism and all the awful things that people say about the rejected and the downtrodden, God, of all the universe, allows Godself to be named by a woman, a slave, sent out into the desert to watch her baby die.

Wherever your heart is at today. However you are struggling or rejected or looking at the tsunami of insurmountable opposition remember the One who has always held out hands, and noticed and listened and allowed the outsider to speak aloud the sacred name.

courage dear heart, courage

Miriam Jessie x

 

The Beatitudes

Heya,

This is a poem I wrote recently as I reflected on the Beatitudes as found in Matthew 4:23-5:12. I hope these words wrap you in encouragement wherever you are.

Miriam Jessie x

 

it is a strange invitation

divine and dusty

a call to be biggest

most invested

brightest

in the secret space

to pour silently, intentionally

into what will not be seen

 

when all the world is building followers

promoting best-sellers

building platforms – virtual & physical

 

a long-ago man sits

on a quiet hillside

no stadium, or microphone, or publishing deal

and tells his friends

the real secret to

blessing

joy

abundance

 

it sounds like downwardness

empty self

to be filled up – undeserved

 

it sounds like letting go

when inside and out chorus

“hold tight

no.1

self-promote”

 

it sounds like surrendering

glamour

gold

desire

 

embracing imperfect contentment

striving no more

standing open hand & heart

before persecution

& embracing an enemy with a knife in his hand

 

How can this appeal?

yet, on his lips

this man of dust and divine

I am considering it

excited even

at the prospect

of throwing it all away

the

important, image, ideology

& finding myself

 

home

fulfilled

content

 

in the company of the scarred

the overlooked

the locust-eaters

and perfume pourers

 

the depressed prophets

& righteous afflicted

the children

& the poor

 

What can they possibly offer someone like me?

 

I think perhaps

they are the shining stars

whose legacy

becomes my powhiri

 

“come, we have space for you too”

 

and a nail-scarred hand,

to match a body that did not grasp

deserved glory

enfolds mine

leads me gently

says to me

“come

 

here, amidst the mess & pain

& disappointment, & affliction

here is the

very throne room

here

is kingdom come.”

 

A Word for Now

I love that when I am at my most feral, full of my own ambition and pride

when I am hurt and slighted

when I disappointed and angry

that He will still speak

like a gentle breeze that calms a raging hurricane of emotion

simply a word from Him and I can be undone

and as that word is spoken into my heart from the pages of His Word I am taken with the weight of my own wretchedness and I am given hope at the same time. Sometimes it is like walking in the centre of a contradiction this journey

 – ever more aware of how far I am fallen

— ever more reminded that I am precious and loved beyond measure

loved by a God who will not let me stay in this state – a true parent that is committed more to the final state of my character than the current state of my comfort

… but in it all remembering I am dust and treating my raging with gentleness so that this bruised reed will not be broken

Today I was given this

Be here – the king is wild for you. 
Since he is your lord, adore him.
ps 45v11

Wild for me – that is where I want to be today right in the centre of his wild love where no arrow can do more than graze away a little more of my self-centredness. Here is where I long to be where my wounded-ness is so painfully obvious and yet I can express it without fear.
Does it blow your mind that the King is wild for you?
Wild about you?
this king, this is the one I want to adore with all my ability.